PIDF is much ‘broader and inclusive’
Mixed reactions are emerging over the core aims of the Pacific Island Development Forum (PIDF) hosted by Fiji between 05th -7th August 2013. Chief among its supporters was Kiribati President Anote Tong who praised the summit for its broad and inclusive approach to addressing specific development challenges in the Pacific. President Tong is optimistic about the role of PIDF at international fora. He also applauded the forum organisers for the notable presence of the private sector and civil society representatives who he suggests are largely excluded from high-level political forums where the diverse challenges of the people are regularly decided. Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama suggested that the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) could no longer attest to being agent of the entire Pacific Islands region. Bainimarama says that PIDF will be more representative of the interests and needs of Pacific islanders under a new framework for cooperation.